Giving Day is on Wednesday, April 22. Show your support and #BeloiterUP at possible.beloit.edu.
History of Beloit
Published in 1856
By Rev. H. Lyman
Beloit is one of the south tier of towns in Rock County, and in the governmental survey is known as town one, range 12, E. It is, therefore, conterminous with territory belonging to the State of Illinois. The Rock river runs from north to south through its whole extent; cherishing the verdure on its margin; affording sites of beauty on its bluffs, and imparting power to the busy mill wheels in its course. Of the aboriginal condition of the town, little is known. Its surface, indeed, bears various marks impressed by the hand of its former lords, but these exist in characters so illegible, that they reveal no important certainty to the inquirer. The old graves found at distant intervals, tell us that Death has been doing his work in the past ages; the choice of picturesque bluffs as the place of sepulture, speaks of respect for the dead, and witnesses for the extinct race that a sense of the beautiful and grand actuated them as it does their more polished successors, to select as a final resting place Mount Hopes and Mount Auburns.
Other ancient works of human hands are found in the mounds scattered here and there, but chiefly aggregated within what is now the College inclosure; but what these signify -- whether they speak of war or of worship, is a matter of conjecture merely, and the best conjecture we may suppose has occurred to him who has with most painstaking and research, applied himself to the investigation of this general subject. See a paper published by Professor Lapham, of Milwaukee.
The name, Beloit, originated with a committee appointed by a convention of citizens who were not satisfied with New Albany, the name which for a few months the town wore. The story is as follows: The committee having the matter in charge, being in consultation, one of its members was at labor to shape a French word to an English termination, when another member, Mr. L. G. Fisher, catching by the ear a sound somewhat analogous, pronounced the word Beloit, which was agreed upon in committee and adopted by the convention. Such was the origin of the distinctive and euphoneous name, Beloit.
The story of the first settlement of this town, is parcel of that pertaining to the State generally. No stories remain among our legends like those which make memorable the more romantic and perilous beginnings in New England or even Ohio. No wild foes lay in ambush about our corn fields, nor beset our home-path.
The moral lesson whose last teachings were uttered in 1833, at the dispersion of the Black Hawk army, were then so recent that the Indians were fain to give a wide berth to the pale faces, or to put on their blandest manners when they ventured among them. We know nothing of the stern difficulties of settlement encountered by those who carried their corn so far to mill, that the meal became exhausted in feeding the carrier before he could reach home. The steamboat connecting our market by lake navigation with older States, and the prairie wagon-road lying between us and market, held out facilities to this town in common with this region, such as have favored the beginnings of no previous settlements since the migration of Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees. Instead of the sad and sanguinary incidents generally inwoven with the beginnings of population, those relating to the first settlement of Beloit, which are best remembered, are so compounded of the earnest and the ludicrous, that the rehearsal of them inflicts no wound upon the tenderest sensibilities. Let the following be taken as examples:
The year 1835 marks the first step towards the settlement of this town. The settlement began at the site of the present village of Beloit, at which place all the settlers were domiciled until after the land sale, which took place in February, 1838 or '9.
Caleb Blodgett was the first of the settlers. He found at his first visit to this place in 1835, Thiebeau, a Frenchman, who had taken an Indian wife, who pretended to claim a territory somewhat indefinite in extent. This equivocal claim it was the first care of Blodgett to quiet, and in this he easily succeeded. The consideration paid to Tiebeau was $250. The next object to which he bent his energies, was to fortify his own claim so that it would appear respectable in the eyes of succeeding adventurers, and stand the test of border law. The mode of establishing a claim was to make some improvement upon the ground, and to effect this, the readiest plan was to plow a furrow on the prairie. But as the amount of land which can be so claimed by on individual in his own name, was by general consent limited to 320 acres; and as such an amount of land bore no proportion to the enterprise of Blodgett, nor to the unbounded claim which he had acquired from Thiebeau, it became necessary to extemporize men for the exigency. Men of straw were accordingly found. Greenings, loafers, and those whose youngness incapacitated them from seeing that they might just as well carve a portion for themselves, all were hired into the employment of Blodgett. They prospected and made claims in their own names, but really on his account. Thus, while in the transaction all the glory came to them, all the profit finally inured to him. In this way the claim of Blodgett was made to extend to four miles square, or in the descriptive phrase of the times "to all the land adjoining him."
An incident of these stirring times is preserved, which may claim an insertion here. In consequence of the unlooked-for increase of the number of eaters which the expedient just related had collected around the board, the department of supplies wasted space. This state of facts was duly reported by Mrs. Blodgett to her lord, who was just then absorbed by cares so numerous and weighty as to have no time to bestow upon a matter so inconsiderable. Through this neglect the case soon swelled up to an exigency. There were twenty who had supped at that table the night before, and who where then sleeping in the undisturbed confidence that they should find the morning repast at the same board, when Mr. Blodgett was posed by a test which made an occasion to display the resources of his generalship. The end had come -- there was nothing in the bag and nothing in the barrel; one hour would bring the breakfast time, and the material basis of there ceremony was yet to be found. But he rose with the occasion; his expedients were prompt and equal to the emergency; and, marching out to the yard where the steers were resting from the toil of plowing yesterday's claims, he planted a blow upon the head of old Bright which operated as a final discharge from the renewal of similar toil, and in a few minutes he reappeared, bearing a full supply of steak for the occasion.
Another incident, illustrative of the spirit of those early times, requires a brief notice. The lands on the west of Rock river were surveyed, and earlier in the market then those on the eastern bank; and yet, with a seeming fatuity, or for reasons which no man can now see, the men in search of land, with great uniformity, came to buy rights under the Blodgett claim, in preference to taking up land equally fertile over the river, which was already in market. Tradition relates that such a land seeker arrived in Beloit in the afternoon with a span of horses which were for sale. Blodgett liked the horses, and made no objection to the price; indeed he would purchase them and give for them a claim to a quarter-section of land. This offer the owner concluded to accept. As soon as the bargain was made, Blodgett had the horses harnessed to a plow, and with his new team drove out and plowed, in three hours, the furrow which perfected the claim which the morning following he gave in payment for the horses.
The year 1837 constitutes an era in the history of this town, from which dates the rising of its social community, its schools, its religious institutions -- all that now characterizes it.
In February, of that year, came Dr. Horace White, as an agent of "THE NEW ENGLAND COMPANY," and purchased of Blodgett one-third of his claim. A company known in annals the of this town as the "New England Company" was formed in New England for the purpose of facilitating the work of emigration, and to constitute a congenial, social community where they should locate. Although no articles stipulated for such an object, it was understood that wherever they should locate, they would unite in sustaining the institutions of science and of religion, and all those adjuncts which contribute to the happiness, thrift and elevation of society.
This implied pledge has been realized. The names of individuals comprising that company were David J. Bundy, Horace White, Horace Hobart, John W. Bicknell and his sons, George W. and Otis P. Bicknell, Israel Pheney, A. L. Field, R. P. Crane, A. B. Howe, Mrs. Lucy Dyer and two sons, Israel Cheney, Ira Young, L. C. Beech, and Leonard Hatch.
In the previous year, 1837, came Charles F. H. Goodhue, who had before resided in Sherbrook, Canada, and who had just before made a claim and a beginning at Watertown, Wisconsin. By his attorney, Tyler Moore, he bought of Blodgett one-fourth part of his whole claim, and immediately set about building a saw-mill, which the wants of the people and the danger of coming frost drove on night and day to completion. Mr. John Hackett came also in May, 1836. At a later day he became the first post master, first legislator, and now, in middle life, is among our first citizens. The same year came also L. G. Fisher. He had started from Milwaukee with his face set toward the mineral region. Following a trail, he had proceeded to Watertown, where, meeting with Goodhue, a former acquaintance, his course was deflected by the glowing representations of Goodhue, touching the beauties of the lower Rock, and finally both came together in a dug-out down in New Albany, now Beloit. As they were completing the arrangements for their voyage, three passengers presented themselves who wished to go with them. They were accepted on the condition that they should work the craft and so pay their passage. The river was uncommonly high, and they were without a chart. No material incident of the voyage is preserved, expect that in passing the rocks and rapids at Monterey, their progress became so rapid that they were impressed with their first ideas of railroad speed, and of the consequences of a collision. Fisher gave in to the representations of Goodhue, and speedily bought of him one-fourth part of his purchase, which was equal to one-sixteenth of the whole Blodgett claim. About this time a grist-mill was erected on the Turtle creek, which has an especial interest, because it is believed to be the first similar mill in the state. Customers came to mill from a distance of one hundred and five miles. This mill was built by Charles F. H. Goodhue, and is still working in the possession of William T. Goodhue, his son.
The same year, Maj. Charles Johnson, and John Doolittle, bought two-twelfths of the Blodgett claim. In this way the site of the present village and much of the adjacent land was parcelled out. That we may have the original division before us at one view, we will here recapitulate:
Blodgett, in 1835 and '6, bought the somewhat nebulous claim of Thiebeau, for the sum of two hundred and fifty dollars.
In 1837, Dr. White bought of Blodgett four-twelfths of the same claim in behalf of "The New England Company," paying three thousand dollars therefor.
Goodhue, in 1837, bought of Blodgett three-twelfths of the claim, at the price of two thousand dollars.
Fisher bought one-fourth part of Goodhue's purchase for five hundred dollars.
Doolittle and Maj. Johnson bought two-twelfths of Blodgett's claim, playing therefor fifteen hundred dollars.
Blodgett retained one-fourth of his original interest. According to the ratio here indicated, the original proprietors divided the village and the surrounding lands.
After the settlement of the town had thus fully commenced, it continued at so rapid a rate that for a short time the supplies which the industry of the farmers could furnish, could not keep pace with the demand. Some minds, however, began to forecast the necessity of a market which might receive the anticipated overflow of agricultural affluence. The question was raised in a public meeting "Where shall we find a future market for our produce?"
Dr. White being present, was of the opinion that the incoming population would demand all that could be produced for a long time, and that no surplus would be found within twenty years.
The fallibility of uninspired men in regard to things in the future was never more clearly illustrated than in this instance. Three years after the date of that utterance, there was a surplus of all kinds of produce; wheat was worth only twenty-five cents and corn ten cents. A bushel of wheat was offered and refused in exchange for a pound of salaratus.
To conclude, however, that the price of agricultural produce was uniformily low, or even moderate, would lead us into a fallacy. Owing sometimes to improvidence, but more frequently to the badness of the roads, the market became bare, and the citizens had to make their wits serve as a committee on ways and means. At first, flour came from Ohio and from New York. The ports at which Beloit traded where Southport, Milwaukee and Chicago. One week was the time consumed in a round trip. The state of the roads might easily double that time.
When from any cause supplies ran short, resort was had to the river. Goodhue's race was made to overflow its banks, and no small portion of the solid matter left upon the flats after such an occurrence consisted of suckers. Whoever can recall the events of 1838-'40 will not fail to find suckers and hoecake in the grouping. In the spring of 1838 the member representing the commissariat of each of the few families then in Beloit might be seen with baskets on the flats gathering suckers for breakfast. The modern citizen can but poorly sympathise in the gusto of the joke when some aboriginal citizen flow directs a boy, peddling suckers, to "carry them to Mr. Bundy, or Mr. Colley, who is very fond of them and will surely buy the lot."
It should be borne in mind that while all this claming had been going on, while there had been divisions and fractional divisions, and while fortunes already began to be inflated and to confer consequence, the land, the very substratum of all, had not been bought. The United States owned it, and should they conclude to use it themselves, all these transactions and their consequences would prove "like the baseless fabric of a vision." And yet, as an antitype of squatter sovereignty, the men on the ground had inaugurated a complete system. They had made an officer to register claims, had appointed a committee on contested rights, and, in short, done all those things that would have been becoming had they been invested with the soil in fee and the rights of jurisdiction.
The effects of this irregular proceeding, however, was so to facilitate future operations, that when the land sale in March, 1838, occurred, one man was sufficient to represent the many interests. That duty was devolved upon Mr. L. G. Fisher, who, attending in Milwaukee, discharged it to the satisfaction of the parties concerned.
The new accession of 1837 to the population, began to manifest its power in the erection of those institutions which at this day constitute the glory and strength of Beloit.
At the first meeting of the territorial legislature, following the apportionment of the Blodgett claim to the New England Company and others, Maj. Johnson and Cyrus Ames were sent as lobby members to Burlington, in Iowa, where the representatives of the large territory now constituting the two states of Wisconsin and Iowa were assembled. They went down the river in a dug-out to Rock Island, subsisting on smoked suckers and other primitive ship stores. From that point they took a steamer up the Mississippi to Burlington, the place of assembly.
A prominent object of this trip, and one in which they succeeded, was to obtain an act of incorporation for a seminary. Thus early and earnestly did the people of this town initiate a system which ever since they had pursued with diligence, to provide for the youthful generation the highest class of scholastic training.
It will assist us to understand the ease with which this county was subdued, if we compare our history with that of regions where tall forests had to be removed, and where, for many years, undecayed roots obstructed the plow. In such countries, felling, cutting, log-rolling, burning, picking up and fencing, are but the beginnings of sorrows. The stumps and stubborn roots remain from year to year stumbling blocks and eye-sores, deflecting furrows and precluding the use of the mower, the cultivator, and other economical implements by which the muscular labor of the farmer has been relieved, and the productiveness of the soil increased. When the first settlers came here the broad plain was ready for the plow; and thousands of acres were covered with grass, and other thousands were outspread around without a root to obstruct or a stump to mar the scene. The crops were put in and matured without the protection of fences, during the first two years.
Although as appears in the foregoing recital, immigration did much for this place in the first days of its history, it was judged neither safe nor desirable to neglect other means whereby population might be increased and its perpetual succession insured.
Recourse was had the expedient of ordinary generation. To this perennial fountain of population are we indebted for scool-houses full of slips and rudiments of humanity, whose names are yet to be made and whose parts are all to be acted in time to come.
The first accession through this channel to the population of Beloit, was gained on the 29th day of March, 1838, in the person of Lucian Dwight Mears, who has since grown into a college freshman.
The record which preserves and verifies this fact is found in manuscript, in the Bible of the elder Mr. Mears.
All the people regarded this birth as an event -- the women were proud and jubilant -- the news ran through the whole circuit of New Albany -- the fathers of the settlement were tickled; they congratulated the parents, suggested an illumination, talked more at large of giving a lot to bless the boy and encourage the parents, (the lot was even designated); but the week passed, the excitement subsided, they became first prudent, then oblivious, and like many genial promptings, the benevolent thought blasted in blossoming, and perished from memories on the spot where it sprang. The rights under it are now bared by the statute of limitations, but the lot remaineth unto this very day; on Broad street it may be seen.
A school-house was built in 1839, and the expense was defrayed by the voluntary offering of the settlers.
The first sermon was preached in a shanty building, by Rev. Professor Whitman, a Baptist.
ORGANIZATION AND LIMITS OF TOWN
The town of Beloit was constituted by an act of the territorial legislature, approved 17th February, 1842. At its organization the town embraced an area equal to about four townships which is described as follows:
Townships number one of range 10, 11, 12, and 13, except that the two eastern tiers of sections, and also the north section of the third tier from town one, range thirteen, were given to Clinton, and sections 19, 20, 21, 28, 29, 31, 32, and 33, of town two, range thirteen, were taken into Beloit.
Without the addition of the sections on the north, the town would have been in a regular form, twenty-two miles from east to west, by six miles from north to south. The addition of those sections made the line irregular.
The first town meeting was held at the school-house, in Beloit, and for purposes of organization. Hazen Cheney was made chairman, and Edward Bicknell, clerk.
The following extracts from the records of this first meeting will engage a moment's notice:
"Voted to set the office of Collector up at auction and the one that will give the most to the town out of the five per cent, allowed by law, shall have the office." "Bid off by Henry Mears at four per cent." "Voted that this meeting stand pledged to support the man for chairman of the board of supervisors who will pay the most to the town out of the two dollars per day allowed him by law for services in said office." "Bid off by Selvy Kidder at one dollar per day."
Alas, for public pledges! Republics are ungrateful. This young democracy having solicited a bribe and pledged to accept it, after all elected another man. Mr. Kidder put himself at half price and so had the pledge, while a full priced man, David J. Bundy, obtained the votes. Political aspirants, take note!
The officers elected at this first town meeting were David J. Bundy, Joseph Colley, and John P. Houstin, supervisors; Israel C. Cheney, town clerk: Asael B. Howe, assessor; Edwin Bicknell, treasurer; Henry Mears, collector; S. G. Collye, Chas. M. Messer, and Alex Douglass, commissioners of highway; Leonard Humphrey, Milo Goodrich, and Jesse Moore, commissioners of schools; Otis Bicknell, constable; Ira Hearsey, sealer of measures; Thos. Crosby, John Reed, and Richard Dole, fence viewers.
When the newly elected officers came to be sworn in, the record indicates that the oath was strengthened to correspond to the weighty interests which were to be affected by the respective functionaries. Thus a fence viewer was sworn only to support the constitution of the United States; a commissioner of highways to support the constitution and to be a good officer; but the chairman of supervisors, in addition to taking care of the constitution and doing the duties of his office, was sworn that he "would do equal right and justice by all men;" and it is believed that he did.
The first organization of churches in Beloit, dates from 1838. From the day of the arrival of the New England company in 1837, public religious worship on the Sabbath was instituted by Congregationalists, and never afterwards omitted. Before the arrival of Rev. Mr. Adams, worship was conducted by laymen, and consisted of singing, prayer, and reading a printed sermon. In December of that year, the Congregationalists, who were supplied by the state ministrations of Rev. Wm. M. Adams, and the Methodists, supplied by the occasional ministrations of Rev. Mr. Tuttle, of Roscoe, Ill., organized churches of their respective denominations.
The former consisted of twenty-four, and the latter of five members. At that time the whole population number one hundred and fifteen. The following brief statements will indicate the origin and growth of the several churches existing in this town:
THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Was organized 27th of Dec., 1838. They have been supplied as follows: Rev. Tuttle, 1838 to 1840; Rev. Milton Bourne, Sept., 1840 to 1842; Rev. Alpha Warren, Sept. 1842 to 1843; Rev. O. W. Munger, Sept., 1843 to 1845; Rev. Zadock Hall, Sept., 1845 to 1846.
A house of worship was built in 1847, at a cost of $4,300. Rev. John Nolan, 1855-'56. Original membership, 5; present membership, 201. Sabbath school, 125. Volumes in library, 350.
This church was organized 30th of Dec., 1838. Rev. Wm. M. Adams assisted at the organization of the church, and continued preaching half the time to them, and half the time at Rockton, for two years. Mr. Adams was succeeded in Nov., 1840, by Rev. Dexter C. Clary, who continued to labor with this people for ten years. He was installed in Feb., 1844, and dismissed in the autumn of 1850. For three years after Mr. Clary's dismission the church was without a pastor, but was supplied by Rev. Dr. Chapin, Rev. Professor Emerson, Rev. Professor Porter, officers of the college, and also by Rev. Messrs. Huggins, Randall and Blodgett. In the autumn of 1853 their present pastor, Rev. H. N. Brindsmade, D. D., commenced his labors among them. This church received missionary aid during the first year of its existence, and since that period has ben self-sustaining.
This church has enjoyed several extensive revivals, and has been in a prosperous condition. A house of worship, of stone, and having a basement, was erected by this society, and dedicated in January, 1844. It cost four thousand dollars, and was the third church edifice erected in Wisconsin. A church at Green Bay, and the 1st Presbyterian church at Milwaukee, alone had preceded it. The church building was much enlarged in 1853. It will now accommodate six hundred and fifty persons. But again, in 1856, it is found too small for the congregation, and measures are now matured for the immediate erection of one that can contain fifteen hundred, and that is expected to cost $28,000.
On the 6th day of Feb., 1856, by a vote of the society, the site for this new church was determined. Its location is fifty rods north-east of the present site.
In the spring of 1840, at their own request, forty-six members were dismissed for the purpose of constituting a new body. In continuance of this purpose they were constituted a Presbyterian church.
The number of members is 338. Number in Sabbath school, 148. Volumes in Sabbath school library, 950.
A committee of inquiry on Missions exists in this church, which collects and presents monthly to the congregation, the state of Missions throughout the world.
PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH
In 1840, came Rev. Aaron Humphrey, from New York, and established worship. His labors were divided and shared by this place in connection with Belvidere and Janesville. Mr. Humphrey organized in his own house the little band of Episcopalians on the 26th of Feb., 1841. Finding, in 1845, that the burden of years superadded to the burden of the parish were becoming too weighty, he gave his place in that year to Rev. S. C. Millet, who continued ministrations in this society until 1853. Rev. I. E. C. Smedes, in deacon's orders, succeeded 30th July, 1854, and continues (1856) the pastor of this people.
A new and beautiful church edifice has been completed by this society, which is the only one on the west side of the river. The site was given by John Hackett, Esq. The corner stone was laid in the spring of 1848. It was occupied in Dec., 1851. The building is of stone, in the gothic style, and is capable of seating three hundred persons. Cost, $5,700.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
In 1842 worship was instituted according to the rites of the Roman Catholic church. Beloit, being too weak to maintain an independent existence, was appended as a mission to the Parish of Janesville. Having no building in which to celebrate their worship, they were kindly invited by Capt. T. A. Power to occupy rooms in his dwelling. Such prosperity was given to their society that it soon swelled beyond the capacity of their accommodations, and they consequently removed to a barn. These new quarters were furnished them by Capt. Power, who finally gave the barn to the society, which being accepted by them, was fitted up for more permanent use. Capt. Power continued, while he lived, a liberal patronage to this society; and his kindness has since been continued by his widow, who has given the Catholic church on School street, at a central location, two lots, on which there is now erected a substantial stone edifice, one hundred and three by forty-seven feet. The society now embraces more than one hundred families.
The Baptist church was constituted on the first day of Mary, 1841, and had originally fourteen members. Rev. A. Burgess officiated. This church has been blessed with a large measure of spiritual prosperity. Revivals, attended with great power, have been enjoyed. Between three and four hundred have been received to its communion; two colonies proceeding from it have become independent churches - one having its center at Rock and the other at Newark. The following pastors have labored among this people: --
Rev. A. B. Winchell preached at Turtle and at Beloit. In 1844, Rev. J. Trowbridge was called. Rev. ---- Harris succeeded in 184--. In 1844, Rev. Niles Kinney. Rev. Daniel Eldridge succeeded and supplied at Beloit half of the time. Rev. Thomas Holmes became pastor in January, 1856.
The infancy of this society was cherished by Miss Moore, who, when the members were few, expended labor and money most bountifully to promote the interest of the scattered sheep. The church located on School street cost $5000. Number in Sabbath school, 65.
This church, as is seen from the foregoing history, was formed from materials supplied from the Congregational church. From that body forty-six members were dismissed, who, on the 21st day of March, 1849, were, Rev. L. H. Ross, of Rockford, officiating, assisted by Rev. Messrs. Clary, Bushnell and L. Benedict, constituted the first Presbyterian church of Beloit.
Rev. A. Eddy having been called to the pastorate of this church, commenced to labor in it on the 24th of July and continued in their service until the spring of 1855, when ill health required a release. The present house of worship was erected in 1849, and dedicated 23d July, 1850. It cost $6000. A bell, manufactured by Menely, weighing 1600 pounds, has since been added to it.
Rev. Luman Hawes, late of Carroll College, Waukesha, was called to the pastoral office and commenced labors with this society in December, 1855.
Its Sabbath school numbers 103 scholars. Its S. S. library has in it 350 volumes. Its membership is 151; average attendance, 400. The session of this church consists of a pastor and a bench of seven elders.
An effort has been made to sustain at Beloit public or common schools of a high grade. The schools are constituted in three grades. Teachers are liberally paid. The wages of principal of the character required is eight hundred dollars for an academic year; assistants are liberally paid. A school house which cost six thousand dollars, stands on the east side of the river, and one to cost twelve thousand is in progress on the west side, and will be completed about the first of July next.
A new Female Seminary was established here late in 1854. A board of trustees was organized, and Ladies Isabella McQueen and Almira White who had gained experience and reputation as teachers in the State of New York, were engaged as associate principals. The success of the school exceeded the expectation of its founders. Sixty-eight pupils were immediately collected in the Seminary, and the number has since been increase to near one hundred. The proficiency exhibited by the pupils in successive examinations has justified the high expectation of the patrons.
The seminary is located on the eastern bank of the river.
When postal facilities began to be enjoyed by this people, their post office was at Chicago, ninety miles distant. When any one was going that way, an order on the post master was made out and signed by all the settlers, -- Next, Belvidere became a post town, and the distance to the post office was reduced to twenty miles. Next an office was established at Roscoe in Ill., six miles from Beloit, and a boy and horse were sent there weekly after the letters. Next, in 1839, at post route from Belvidere to Janesville, passing through Beloit, was granted, when John Hackett, Esq., was appointed P. M.
The post masters who have successively served at Beloit, with their times of appointment are as follows:
John Hackett, 1839; Selvy Kidder, 1840; Alfred L. Field, 1841; David Noggle, 1845; W. C. Spalding, 1847; Washington Bastian, 1849; Allen Warden, 1853.
As the returns of the post office are almost the best possible indices of the commerce and intelligence of a given locality, it has seemed good to present the receipts of the post office so far as known. It is believed that the following particulars relating to the increase of business in the post office will testify favorably for the intelligence and business of the town and compare advantageously with any office in the county, supplying an equal population.
The total receipts for the first quarter after the establishment of the office in 1838, amounted to $60.
The total receipts for the last quarter, under Mr. Bastian, amounted to $450 in the year 1853.
The receipts of the post office for the last official quarter ending Dec. 30th, 1855, amounted to $950. Showing an increase since three years ago, of $500 per quarter. The number of boxes required during Mr. Bastian's term was 300; since which the increase of the office business has demanded a larger building, and the establishment of 600 boxes and 25 drawers, which are all in constant use, and still the demand remains unsupplied.
The present post office building is the largest, and afford the best accommodation to the public -- and its internal arrangements for the transaction of the regular post office business is not surpassed by any office in the State.
There are now 10 mail routes having their termini at Beloit -- 5 dailies 3 tri-weeklies and 2 weeklies -- making the mail arrivals and departures amount to 1006 for each quarter.
There are 150 dailies, 1163 weeklies, 400 monthlies, making in the aggregate, for each quarter, 29,719 papers and magazines received at this offi